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tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 1, 2014 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

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>> this is real. there should be a concern but contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment. end quote. now by way of timeline how did we get here? the patient leaving liberia on
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september 19th. he arrived in dallas the next day. then september 26th he said he felt sick. he went to the hospital and was sent home. i was given a precipitation for antibiotics, and then he was ten take to the hospita--he was then taken to the hospital and is now in critical condition. >> reporter: del, i'm having a little bit of trouble hearing you, if you're asking about the ambulance it is in quarantine at this moment. but i talked to the ems chief. he said this ambulance is back in service. it has been decontaminated numerous times since transporting this ebola patient. also i'm hearing an update on
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the three pair medics who worked that call. they've passed a litany of medical exams given by the cdc. they're healthy at this moment showing no symptoms of ebola, and they've been released to their homes for the next 21, to self monitor taking their own temperatures twice a day, calling, as they feel, any headache, nausea, they'll contact the cdc. they're home with their families. all three pair metics. we don't have identification at this moment, but we do know they have families. but at this point the family life is suggested to progress at normal, there are no indications to show they're contagious. >> this man went to the hospital, but was sent home with antibiotics. >> reporter: that's right. that happened on friday, del.
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he went up this ramp. asking for immediate medical condition. he was seen and sent home with antibiotics. they did not realize that this man had just traveled from west africa. the question is was the proper procedure followed? did staff ask the right questions at that time? and then it wasn't until three days after that initial visit that this man felt so much worse that he had to call 911 to get that ambulance ride, further endangering paramedics by exposing them to symptoms. >> in the dallas area we're receiving word that a school board official will be among those speaking to reporters. do we know why a school system
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representative is included? >> reporter: that's very interesting. it's a last-minute change, and at this point they're not releasing any information. they're saying to wait for the announcement at the press conference. all we know are two words that caused the public to be concerned and our ears to prick up, those words are kids and ebola. we don't know if this has to do about kids who have been contaminated or maybe they're putting precautions in place so kids do not become infected. >> how concern are they in the dallas area? what is the mood? what is the feeling? >> reporter: well, people here are talking. i was there last night and this morning, it was quiet. just a handful of people talking
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quietly looking around with wide eyes. as you can imagine the public is choosing not to come to this emergency room with all the options out there, but the hospital administration is being very aggressive in its message that things are progressing normally. the hospital is operating as normal as we speak, and that they have all the proper procedures in place to contain this virus from spreading beyond this one patient. we know that he is now been downgraded to serious condition, and he's being valley waited in icc unit because it happens to be isolated from other patients and has negative air pressure so that in the case he develops respiratory problems, which we do not know whether he has at this moment, at that case the virus could not be transmitted through the air. >> heidi zhou castro. thank you.
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>> in terms of health concerns, i really don't think that they have much to be concerned about. the patient was isolated. contacts have been identified. really it's been whether they've been in contact with those contacts. since none of them have developed symptoms so far they're not infectious yet. if any of them do develop ebola there is not a risk of transmission beyond that first circle. that said it is very concerning that it took two days after the patient first presented to the hospital before he was hospitalized and isolated. as we talked about earlier this morning patients--when a patient comes in with a fever it's basic medicine school 101 that you ask
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the patient have you traveled recently. have you been in contact with anyone sick? either of those questions, if answered truthfully, would have picked this up. that is concerning. >> doctor, is it your sense as an expert in this field there is a much greater degree of concern at airports for instance, on either coast, new york, los angeles, washington, d.c. as opposed to placing like chicago or dallas, that don't think that these patients are going to be coming to their particular region? >> well, i do think that given how the epidemic continues to explode in the west africa region we'll probably have more cases like this one. essentially no one who is not sick gets on the plane, and in this countries they are screening the airports to make sure that you don't have a fever, you don't have symptoms. you may have someone who is not yet sick getting on the plane and traveling here. what will most likely happen is
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the scenario is if they get sick after arrival 37 it's not really a danger on the plane. it's really more of a danger to families of these passages. >> i want to show our audience the numbers. and then after the numbers i have a question for you. after the numbers this crisis is only getting worse. these are the latest numbers according to the cdc as of money. they say there were 6,574 cases of ebola reported all told. i'm going to breakaway from that because the texas governor has made his way to the podium. we'll take you live to dallas, and we'll talk on the back end. this is texas governor rick perry. >> good afternoon, and i thank each of you for being here today. congressman, thank you for your presence, and you know, over the
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past 24 hours i've been in very close contact with the director of the cdc dr. tom freeden. as well as all the appropriate texas state health officials. we're working closely with the local, both city and county health officials, and it's a very serious case as we partner. as you know, a patient was admitted to this hospital on september 28th. subsequently tested positive for ebola. today we learn that some school-age children have been identified as having some contact with the patient, and now are being monitored at home for answer sign of the disease. i know parents are extremely concerned about that development. let me assure these children have been identified, and they are being monitored, and the
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disease cannot be transmitted before having any symptoms. i have full confidence in the medical professionals and superintendent miles and our local and state and federal partners in keeping this conta contained. this is a disease that is not airborne and is substantially more difficult to contract than the common cold. we have experts here with us today along with officials from the state and federal government have been working together to take every step available and necessary to care for this patient's health, and insure the safety and welfare of our citizens. there are few places in the
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world better equipped to meet the challenge imposed in this case. texas is one of only 13 states certified by the cdc to conduct diagnostic ebola testing. and we have the healthcare professionals and the institutions that are second to none. the public should have every confidence that the highly-trained professionals will succeed in this very important mission. public health investigators from dallas county and from the texas department of state health services are working to identify to locate, and to monitor the health of all those who have come into close contact with the patient. the highly qualified men and women of texas health presbyterian are doing everything in their power to deliver the very best care for
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this patient. they have been and they will continue to be in close contact with federal state and local officials to insure the public safety. this case is serious. rest assured that our system is working as it should. professionals of every end of the chain of command know what to do to minimize the risk for the people of texas, and for this country, for that matter. i would like to ask the head of our health services to come and share with you the efforts that are ongoing as we address this issue. david? >> good morning, my name is david laky. i'm commissioner of the state health services. i appreciate you being here today. i want to echo several of the comments made by the government.
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first, our thoughts and prayers are really with the family. they were notified about their loved one having ebola yesterday. obviously it's a scary diagnosis, so our thoughts and prayers are with them right now. also the treatment team, the individuals in the healthcare who are caring for the individuals right now. since the legitimate break o of--since the outbreak of ebola texas is prepared for an event like this. education has taken place. protocols have been put in place with the ability to test for this virus since august. and they're able to do that in our laboratory. prepareness is taking place here at the local level in this hospital. they took it seriously. they've been educating their staff and putting their own protocols in place so they were ready to care for an individual
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that this individual and any individual who showed up with ebola. we've been on the lookout for this. i had the opportunity today to spend time with the team and talk with the management team, and hear how they have been preparing for a long time for this event. and then i had the opportunity to talk to the infection control practitioners, and actually go on to the ward and see firsthand the work that they're doing. i want to let you know that they're doing a great job. they're providing compassionate care. they have a committed staff that are providing top-notch care and are doing that in a safe environment. they have the whole ward that is dedicated to the care of this individual. they have a whole team, again, professionals that are very competent caring for this individual. they're doing it, as i noted, in a very safe, compassionate
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environment providing excellent care. now, obviously this disease is scary to a large number of individuals, but i think some of the points that was emphasized yesterday need to be restated. onement statements, and i want to reiterate is that people cannot transmit this disease until they have symptoms. and so individuals who do not have symptoms are not going to transmit this disease. there is a chance of transmitting it is zero. this virus is not transmitted by the air, it is not transmitted by the water, it is transmitted with direct contact with their skin or contact with blood or secretions or other bodily fluids. or if there is a contaminated needle, they could transmit this. it is not going to be transmitted through the air, through casual contact with other individuals. i also want to make the case
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that this is not west africa. this is a very sophisticated, a very sophisticated hospital. and the dynamics are so significantly different than they are in east africa--excuse me, west africa--that the chances of it being spread are very, very small. again, unless someone has symptoms it's not going to be spread to another individual. our laboratory has been developing the ability to do this test. since august we've done the proficiency test, and we have the ability to do that diagnostic test in our laboratory. that is available through the support of the state of texas. again, the test yesterday, the controls worked as they were appropriately supposed to work and the test was obviously
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positive. we take great care in our laboratory to inactivate the virus and again to make sure that our laboratory folks are safe and it is done in a very safe manner. a lot of work is taking place right now. a lot of investigation is taking place, identifying individuals. the family has been identified. contact has been made. messages have been conveyed to them about how we need to approach the situation. and we will continue to work very closely with thi the full support of the state of texas to
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make sure that we protect texans and provide the care that needs to be provided. thank you. >> david. thank you. and let me add up to that, thank you both, this is all hands on deck. we understand that. and we've got great local partners. and every has their marching orders, and understand the importance of that good collaboration, that good partnering from the state right through our federal partners of the cdc. with that we'll open it up to those of you in the media for questions, and individuals on the podium can respond. i beg your pardon? >> we're categorizing his condition as serious but stable.
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>> a check list was in place for ebola at this hospital for several weeks. and dr. ed goodman to my right led the implementation for that. that question was asked by the nurse regretfully information was not fully communicated throughout the full team. as a result, the full import of that information was not factored in to the clinical decision making. the overall clinical presentation was not typical at that time yet for ebola.
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they felt it was a low-grade viral disease. he indicated that he had. >> the information had been factored into the entire clinical picture. the clinicians did not factor it in. it was not part of the decision.
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>> we apologize for not being able to hear the questions, but the questions deal with the fact that the man presented himself to the hospital and then was given antibiotics and allowed to leave two years later he came back with what was diagnosed with ebola. we continue to listen. >> i would factor that among the team not present. all that have information was not present as they made their clinical decision. >> that information was not obtained. oh, i'm doctor mark leicester,
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and i'm executive vice president with texas health resources. i'm the zone clinical leader for the southeast zoning resources. i remember, it's unprotected exposure to the bodily fluids that constitutes exposure. we're investigating how many people might be and how they might be monitored if that's so. as i said, we're investigating that right now.
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>> we're very closely with the local health department. the local health department conveyed information to how this disease could be spread and the need for ongoing monitoring. they'll be in daily contact with the family. if they do not follow that advice than additional steps would be taken. but right now we're working with the family to insure that they do as we're advising them. >> i just want to conquer with what dr. laky said. we're working with the c dc.
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>> they're talking about the first u.s. ebola patient who walked into the texas hospital back on the 26th of the month presenting ebola-like symptoms. texas governor rick perry speaking earlier say, quote, this case is serious. saying that the man had some contact with school-aged children in the area saying they're in contact with parents. i want you to listen to what they had to say. he said those children are being watched. >> today we learned that some school-aged children have been identified as having had contact with the patient. they are now being monitored at home for any signs of the disease. >> the governor going on to say that texas is one of 13 states certified by the c dc to treat ebola patients, and they had protocols in place. we go to an infectious-disease
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expert. doctor gounder, as you listen to this, does it sound like something fell to the cracks? >> it sounds like a nurse did obtain the information that this patient had traveled to africa, and the rest of the clinical team and the emergency department were not aware of the information or did not take it into consideration, and that is concerning. >> one of the things about ebola in the united states and outside of united states is fear. are they going to satisfy the fears of those parents who fear that their children may have been exposed? >> well, i think that's going to be very difficult. i think the american public in general is already historical about this, especially if it's your own child there is tremendous concern. i think they're going to have to wait for 21 days and see if their child develops symptoms,
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and hopefully it will be done quickly in the next couple of days to reassure them. but if i were a parent and my child were exposed to ebola, sure, i would be very upset. >> dr. gounder, standing by. we'll go to heidi zhou castro. how probably is the fear of this patient checking in for ebola. >> now that we heard that kids might have been exposed, i can say that this fear is very palpable. parents in the area are very afraid. the ones who were infected have already been contacted. perhaps it's more squarely put, why did they let this man leave the emergency room, to return to his home and his normal
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activities for three days while contagious. they're not releasing a lot of information about those three days, but if you put two and two together, if he was around kids and was contagious and presenting symptoms. at this point a lot of questions to be asked, and you heard the admi administrators try to explain when he first went up the ramps in his own volition seeking emergency help. they say he was presenting with a low grade common viral disease, they did not think it could possibly be ebola. why did they think that? they were missing a key piece of information. they did not know he had just come from west africa. >> the crisis till continues to grow. close to 3100 or half have died
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from the deed. the country with the most deaths due to ebola is eye beer i can't, 1830. that will conclude our coverage for now. the crisis continues. fault lines is next.
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>> it's christmas eve, and us soldiers are preparing for their last months in afghanistan. about forty thousand are still here - by the end of the year, there'll be just eight thousand. we traveled to afghanistan in the midst of this transition. but on the base we found a story that isn't being told. th